The Brotherhood of St Laurence is working to create a compassionate and just Australia where everyone can take part in the social and economic life of our nation.
We are a prosperous country, but there are far too many pockets of poverty and disadvantage in our cities, suburbs, regions and remote areas.
In establishing The Hope Prize - a new national short story competition - we want to encourage Australian writers to tackle a subject that is all too often hidden from public view or reduced to cliches.
The short story entered can be fiction or fact. Whatever the genre, the story submitted must convey the experience of people facing hardship in their lives.
We decided to name the competition The Hope Prize because we want to encourage writing that transcends stereotypes of 'the poor': we want to see perceptive prose and nuanced storytelling that reflects the resilience we know that people show in the face of poverty and testing times.
Thanks to the generosity of the late Prudence Myer and the support of her family, the winners will receive cash prizes:
- First prize of $5000
- Second prize of $3000
- Third prize of $2000
- Highly commended stories will each receive $500
- An award of $500 will also be made to an emerging writer under 18.
The deadline for entry is 31 January, 2016.
Stories submitted must be between 2000 and 5000 words.
How to enter
Click here to read the rules of the competition and how to enter >>
The judges: Cate Blanchett, Kate Grenville and Quentin Bryce
Three leading Australians, actor Cate Blanchett, author Kate Grenville, and the former Governor General Quentin Bryce, will judge the Brotherhood of St Laurence The Hope Prize.
The judges are passionate about defeating disadvantage in our communities and care deeply about encouraging good writing.
Kate Grenville, one of Australia's best-known writers including of short stories, says: 'Stories enrich both the storyteller and the story-reader, bringing new understanding and new perspectives to both.
'I'm delighted to be part of such a good project, supporting such a very worthwhile cause.’
Cate Blanchett notes how art holds up a mirror to society: 'The stories we tell ourselves are a reflection of who we are. To be excluded from such national imaginings is to live a half-life.
'I am excited to take part in the Brotherhood short story competition and look forward to reading the stories that shine a light on disadvantage.’’
Quentin Bryce says she would like to see The Hope Prize help raise awareness: 'Poverty and disadvantage are pressing issues in contemporary Australia, especially in outer suburbs and rural areas.
'This important new short story competition will help illuminate this to new audiences.’
The Hope Prize is supported by publisher Simon & Schuster and books retailer Readings.